Adam Wainwright is 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA and a 0.863 WHIP, insanely good numbers. He also recently tossed a one hitter, his first, facing only one batter over the minimum, meaning he also issued no walks. It was a performance, had it been done by anyone else, would’ve generated a WOW! HE DID WHAT??? reaction. Instead he seemed to get more of a “not bad Waino, not bad.” reaction.
In addition, all I hear about these days are other pitchers, despite Wainwright’s excellence. We mourn all of the starters lost to injuries (particularly Alex Fernandez), marvel at streaks (Johnny Cueto and Zach Greinke) and ageless wonders (Mark Buerhle) and Wainwright seems to get lost in the shuffle.
Part of this is due to Wainwright himself. He’s not a showboat. He’s a professional’s professional. He’s very understated, letting his performance speak for itself.
That isn’t as a rule, what people want. The want substance, sure, but they want flash too. Why do you think everybody mourned so much (and still seem to be mourning) over Fernandez’ lost season? If Wainwright had been injured for the season everyone would say “we’ll miss him” and move on.
Part of it may be who he plays for. The Cardinals are in a small market compared to other teams who have well known pitching talents, like Los Angeles with Kershaw (an understated player himself) and Greinke. Plus lately, The Cardinals seem to be sneered at quite a bit due to the whole ‘Cardinals Way’ thing.
He’s respected, sure, but he deserves more than that. He needs to be recognized for how awesome he is. Heck I’ll bet that, even if he continues on his current pace and wins a Cy Young, people will say “he only got it because Kershaw missed a chunk of time and Fernandez was injured.”
Adam Wainwright is one of the best, if not the best, pitchers in baseball. I wish people would recognize how great he is.